Sunday, June 9, 2019

Mystery RPPC: Long-ago toddler with fuzzy toy


Here is item #6 of 8 from the Dover Township yard sale. It's an AZO real photo postcard dating from between 1910 and 1930. Nothing was ever written on the back, and this one doesn't have a stamp denoting the photo center that handled it.

And so we have a very young girl wearing a white dress and matching hat. She's a cutie, but the most interesting things here are the toys. She is standing next to a small stool or table. There are two layers of wooden blocks1 and, atop those, is a delightful fuzzy creature. Was it her beloved stuffed Friend? Or just a prop used by the photographer to put something interesting into the photograph?


Footnote
1. To learn more about wooden alphabet blocks:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Newspaper D-Day headlines,
75 years ago today


D-Day, the Normandy landings that served as a turning point of World War II, was 75 years ago today. Here's an excerpt of what's written about the occasion on today's LNP/LancasterOnline Editorial page:
Today, we remember and are thankful for the Allied forces who fought on D-Day.

For those who didn’t get off that beach alive.

For those who bravely executed an invasion that was meticulously planned — but was thrown off course by countless uncontrollable external factors. They dealt with it all and opened the door for the liberation of occupied Europe.

They changed the course of history.

They saved the world.
And here are some U.S. newspaper A1 headlines from this date 75 years ago that conveyed the breaking news to the public. Normandy is six hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States, so there was time to get the first wave of news into newspapers on June 6, 1944. As you will read, though, the reports, facts and interpretations were still developing as newspapers had to go to press. These headlines were, indeed, just the first rough draft of that day's history.

  • The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC): "Allied Troops Advance Several Miles Inland On French Coast"
  • The Troy Record (Troy, NY): "FRANCE INVADED"
  • The Monitor (McAllen, Texas): "Mighty Allied Invasion Force Drives into Northwest France Against Light Nazi Defenses"
  • The Record (Hackensack, NJ): "INVASION ROLLS DEEP INTO FRANCE"
  • Muncie Evening Press (Muncie, Indiana): "ALLIED TROOPS BATTERING WAY INLAND; CASUALTIES ARE LIGHT"
  • Palladium-Item (Richmond, Indiana): "Allies Smash Into France on 100-Mile Front; Beachheads Secured As Invasion Takes Hold"
  • Tallahassee Democrat (Tallahassee, Florida): "BEACHHEADS ARE ESTABLISHED; NAZIS OFFER WEAK RESISTANCE"
  • The Daily Times (Salisbury, Maryland): "ALLIES INVADE FRANCE; TANKS AND TROOPS ADVANCE NINE MILES"
  • Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah): "ALLIED INVADERS STAB 10 MILES INTO FRANCE"
  • The Muscatine Journal (Muscatine, Iowa): "Allies Land On Normandy Coast"
  • The Logan Daily News (Logan, Ohio): "ALLIED ARMIES INVADE HITLER'S FORTRESS; AMERICANS LEAD BIG PUSH INTO FRANCE"
  • Plainfield (NJ) Courier-News: "CONTINENT INVADED"
  • The Winona Daily News (Winona, Minnesota): "Allies Secure French Beachheads, Hit From Le Havre to Cherbourg; Paratroops Alight Behind Nazis"
  • The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois): "Allies Smash Inland in France; Opposition 'Unexpectedly Light'"
  • The Miami News (Miami, Florida): "INVASION GAINING!"
  • Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska): "BEACHHEAD WON"
  • The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania): "ALLIES CONFIDENT OF SUCCESS WITH INVADERS ON BEACHES"
  • New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania): "INITIAL SUCCESS MARKS FRENCH COAST INVASION"
  • Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, Wisconsin): "D-DAY OFF TO GOOD START"
  • Fremont Tribune (Fremont, Nebraska): "Allied Tanks, Infantry Storm Inland After Landing at Dawn"
  • The Times Record (Zanesville, Ohio): "Invasion On, Nazis Claim"
  • The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma): "Germans Say Allied Paratroops And Ground Forces Land on French Coast; No Confirmation Given by Eisenhower"
  • The Morning Post (Camden, New Jersey): "WE LAND IN FRANCE"
  • The Manhattan Mercury (Manhattan, Kansas): "CROSS CHANNEL INVASION IS ON"
  • Dunkirk Evening Observer (Dunkirk, New York): "AMERICAN ARMY OF LIBERATION LANDS ON NORMAN COAST"
  • The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, California): "INVASION SMASH!"

This INVADED graphic appears on numerous June 6 front pages
and was likely provided by a wire service or syndicate

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Mystery RPPC: Girl with parasol and witchy socks


Here is item #5 of 8 from the Dover Township yard sale. It's another AZO real photo postcard dating from between 1904 and 1918. And, like the last one, it's another card with a circular purple stamp from Electric Studio, 57 East Philadelphia Street, York, Pennsylvania.

Another similarity to the last postcard: It's the same setting and the same parasol. So these were probably taken at the same time. Here they are, side by side:


Today's girl, older than the other, doesn't have a stuffed animal on wheels in the photo with her. But she does have some nifty Wicked Witch of the West socks...

Monday, June 3, 2019

Barbie fraternized with some questionable dudes in the 1970s


Hat tip to We Are the Mutants for making me aware of this far-out Barbie set. Sources indicate it's from the 1976 Sears wish book, of which Rolf Potts writes this in a long, wonderful essay on his website: "Even though I could scarcely read in 1976, I paged through the holiday catalog’s 620 glossy pages as if they amounted to an intoxicating graphic novel of desire, rich with abundance and possibility."

Turning back to this particular advertisement, I think Barbie's "date" looks a little like a young Michael Gross, before he settled down with Meredith Baxter Birney to raise a family in 1980s suburbia. And that's just the start of the quips. Here are some of the others (not mine) I've gathered from Facebook and other corners of the internet, for your giggling pleasure and for posterity.

  • Cocaine not included.
  • The Mr. Goodbar playset.
  • STDs sold separately.
  • DEAR GOD. All that's missing is a mirror and rolled up dollar bill.
  • That's Paul Rudd from Anchorman.

Here are the "specs" for this play set. I'm a little disturbed by the line: "When dolls are tired, fold discoteque into colorful carry-along radio."


Did I say Michael Gross? I meant John Cazale.

Mystery postcard of "old school"


This unused real photo postcard dates from between 1910 and 1930, based on the two upward-pointing triangles and the two downward-pointing triangles in the stamp box. In this case, we do have the tiniest bit of information on the back. Someone has written "Old School interior." That's it. (We also have to consider the possibility that the caption was written decades after the creation of the postcard. It could just be someone guessing at the function of this room.)

On the front, someone wrote "H WARD" and "WARD" onto the picture in ink. Clues, for sure, but not clues that are going to get us anywhere a century later. Who knows how many owners and dealers this RPPC has passed through?

The classroom, if that's what it is, contains small wooden desks and several wicker chairs. On one desk, there appears to be a white statue of a lion.

The two walls we can see are adorned with large wildlife/nature paintings. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say the big antlered creature on the left is supposed to be an elk. I have driven through Elk County, Pennsylvania, which makes me an expert on such things.

Sigh. Let's face it: We'll never know where this "classroom" was.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Franklin & Marshall's groovy
1972-1973 student directory


I thought this find would be fun to share. Here, from nearly a half-century ago, is the cover of Franklin & Marshall College's 1972-73 student directory. It's staplebound, 120 pages and 5½ inches wide. This copy originally belonged to a woman named Julie, who came from Long Island, New York, to attend the esteemed Lancaster college.

The Names & Numbers directory has this disclaimer on the first page: "The information in this Directory is a direct result of the data supplied by the students. Its accuracy is limited by the information they supply."

The list of college telephone extensions includes these departments: Academic Computing, Addressograph, Boiler House, Computer Center, Data Processing, Faculty Dining Room, Glee Club, Green Room, Lost and Found, and Warehouse.

Alphabetically, the first student is Theodore Abel and the last student is Richard Zupcak. Actor Treat Williams should have been at F&M at this time, but he is not listed in the directory. There is a Neville J. Lord listed in the directory. He goes by Jeffrey Lord now and was a high-profile commentator for CNN until he made trouble for himself on Twitter in 2017.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A pair of Mom's childhood pets



Here are a couple of snapshots from the early 1960s of two of Mom's pets. Susie was the dog, and Blackie was the cat. I'm guessing this is their house in Rose Valley, but I'm not 100% sure. Blackie appears to have been a moderately large cat. I think he/she is also featured in this photograph from the late 1960s.

Researchers of the future should have no trouble finding photos of my cats — Buddy, Cyrano, Scoop, Maya, Salem, Huggles, Mr. Bill, Mitts, Floyd, Mr. Angelino, Monkey and Titan. It seems like those guys take up about half the snapshots in my unorganized shoebox these days. They also represent 13.2% of Facebook's database.

Friday, May 31, 2019

1980 newspaper headline that would give Marie Kondo hives


That's the headline on a newspaper article that appears on Page D-4 of the January 6, 1980, edition of The Santa Fe New Mexican. The article, written by John Arnold, profiles ephemera collector and seller David Margolis.

Here are some fun excerpts:

  • "Margolis said ephemera is 'printed material that was never meant to be saved. It was the throwaway of the day; not books or photographs, but things no one intended to last very long.'"
  • "Margolis, who with wife Jean Moss opened Margolis and Moss Dec. 5, 1979, sells and collects ephemera as well as books, photographs and prints."
  • "'These materials were meant to commemorate something of the period and not for posterity,' he said. 'They are a great way to study the past for people interested in preserving social history.'"
  • "Margolis uses his well-stocked reference library to track down and identify many of the rare and unusual items that come his way. People collect just about anything, he said, and there's usually a reference book on the subject. To illustrate his point, he pulled two fairly thick volumes from the shelf: A book describing every George Washington post card made and a similar one for Abraham Lincoln."
  • "An up and coming collectible item which may increase in value, Margolis said, is post cards. 'In Paris alone, there are 28 shops that sell nothing but post cards,' he said."

David Margolis is in his mid 70s now. I found Margolis and Moss mentioned in a 2013 syllabus for a summer graduate course in ephemera ("Managing Ephemera in Libraries, Archives, and Museums").

And here's a 24-minute video interview that Margolis and Moss did in 2014...